Mark Pierson runs an engineering consulting business, MVP Innovative Solutions, in downtown Binghamton’s Koffman Incubator. He is the “class clown” of the Koffman, always carrying a book of jokes to share from. However, when it comes to patents he’s not joking around. Pierson is considered a Master Inventor with over 700 patents to his name. His latest brings major innovation to a device often taken for granted.

Cutlerease is a touch-free disposable utensil dispenser which drastically improves on current designs. This invention embodies multiple breakthroughs for the cutlery industry by being germ-free, environmentally-friendly, and compact. 

Unlike competing dispensers, Cutlerease functions without electricity, relying solely on the power of mechanics. Unique to his design, utensils don’t get exposed to germs from the installation process to the point of delivery, making it the cleanest utensil dispenser on the market. Utensils are stacked vertically whereas current models stack horizontally. This new design allows Cutlerease to hold a maximum of 360 utensils using minimal space, enabling businesses to reduce refill frequency and use space efficiently.

 

 

The story of this invention began 9 years ago when a friend of Pierson’s, who worked as a patent attorney, came to him with his client. This client brought a box of loose utensils and pitched a simple idea: “Maybe we can make something out of this.” Although excited at the prospect of solving the problem of disorganized, unsanitary cutlery — Pierson was aware of his major competitor, Dixie, which dominated the cutlery dispenser market. He researched their patents diligently and with current solutions in mind, he invented an improved dispenser prototype in 6 months and got it patented in 2 years. Meanwhile, his partner sold the idea to companies, which took 5 years. As he recalled the processes, Pierson remarked, “I feel accomplished.”

You too can become a Master Inventor. Pierson recalls the unique thought process that made obtaining over 700 patents possible. He said, “Most people look at an idea and they just grind, grind, and grind until they come out with something that is crappy. I don’t do that. I look at something, I study it, and I walk the heck away from it. Give yourself some time for your subconscious processors to do its job.” Since receiving his first patent as senior at Binghamton, he has leveraged his thought process to better the community through inventions, Cutlereases being the latest, but certainly not the last of his innovations. 

Daiki Yoshioka

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